Mayor Joe Riley: “Charleston is the most gracious and least snobby city I've ever been in”
World-class dining? Check.
Breathtaking views? Check.
Travel + Leisure's snobbiest cities
1. San Francisco
2. New York City
4. Minneapolis/St. Paul
5. (Tie) Santa Fe, N.M.
8. Providence, R.I.
9. Washington, D.C.
Travel + Leisure magazine
Good at looking down its nose on other cities? Check, apparently.
Charleston has recently developed a knack for earning travel-related accolades, but the city's newest title is a more dubious distinction.
The June issue of Travel + Leisure magazine has ranked Charleston No. 10 on its list of the snobbiest cities in the country. The list includes such powerhouses as New York and Boston, and the snobbiest city in the U.S., San Francisco.
“The normal understanding and definition of that word does not fit Charleston,” said Mayor Joe Riley Monday. “Charleston is the most gracious and least snobby city I've ever been in.”
The article determined “which city has the biggest nose in the air” by factoring in things like “smarty-pants residents, high-end shopping and cultural offerings, along with tech-savviness and eco-consciousness.”
Just three years ago, the very same magazine named Charleston the friendliest city in the nation.
The brief section on Charleston described quaint Southern traditions blending with a modern foodie scene, and mentioned Slightly North of Broad by name. The restaurant colloquially goes by SNOB.
“Charleston has every right to be snobby, but I really don't think it is,” said Peter Pierce, general manager of the restaurant.
Pierce said Charleston is unique because of the range of interesting factors the city possesses.
“World-renowned food, ocean, beaches, history. It all comes together here,” he said.
Perrin Lawson, deputy director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he was unsure of what exact criteria made Charleston a snobby city.
“I know we have a restaurant called SNOB, but other than that, I don't know much about it,” he said.
Lawson said a lot of things go into these articles, and he and his bureau try to focus more on things that will affect travel and tourism in the area.
In 2012 Charleston was chosen by Conde Nast as the top tourist destination in the world, beating out such cities as Cape Town, South Africa, and Florence, Italy.
The Holy City was chosen because of its “overall ambiance, culture and sites, friendliness, lodging, restaurants and shopping.” These qualities ran through Riley's mind as he heard the news of Charleston's supposed snobbery, and he said it gave him a chuckle.
“What will they think of next?”